8.3 lakh people tested in J&K, positivity rate 3.6%

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Jammu and Kashmir has tested 8.33 lakh people for COVID19 so far, out of which 3.6 percent turned out to be positive for the viral respiratory illness.

According to official figures, 8.33 lakh persons have been tested for novel coronavirus using RT-PCR and Rapid antigen test kits. The number of persons who tested positive so far for this illness is 31,371.

The figure reveals that the positivity rate i.e. the number of cases declared positive out of the total number of samples tested is 3.6 percent. The positivity rate of Jammu and Kashmir is much lower than the national positivity rate which stands at 7.7 percent.

J&K has recorded 31371 COVID positive cases since the outbreak of pandemic in the union territory. The Kashmir region has recorded 24495 cases having 80 percent of the positive cases and Jammu region 6876 cases has total 20 percent positive cases out of the total COVID cases detected so far.

Public health experts consider the positivity rate, which is the proportion of tests that return a positive result, a key benchmark to gauge transmission. Overall, India’s positivity rate is currently at 7.7%. Srinagar district is the worst hit having recorded 7614 positive cases and over 190 fatalities.

However a silver lining in this situation, according to health officials, is the improving recovery rate of patients.

On August 1, the recovery rate in Jammu and Kashmir was 61 percent which has improved to well over 75 percent. The numbers of active cases have also come down from 7100 to 6973 and the number of patients who have defeated this viral illness has reached 23,805.

“Administration in Jammu and Kashmir worked hard on the strategy of suspect all, test all. The introduction of rapid antigen test kits has further increased Jammu and Kashmir’s test capacity. We were already among top states/UTs when it came to testing per million populations,” said a senior official.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has directed health authorities in Kashmir region to ramp up the rapid antigen testing rate to 10,000 tests a day in order to check the level of spread of COVID19 at the community level.

Sources informed Greater Kashmir that Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyan in a review meeting with the health department officials set the target of 10,000 rapid antigen tests a day for health authorities in Kashmir.

Government has now decided to introduce rapid antigen testing at non-COVID hospitals, PHCs, SDHs to ensure ramp up the testing rate.

Jammu and Kashmir Administration has already issued protocols for passengers arriving in the Union Territory through the air, rail or road.

“All passengers arriving by air, rail or road into the UT of Jammu and Kashmir shall be 100 percent tested for COVID-19 antigen using the RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen Test or prescribed method,” an official release said.

An antigen is a protein (in this case present on the virus) that induces an immune response in the body in the form of production of antibodies against a disease, and detecting its presence through an antigen-based test determines a present infection.